Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me(2003)
"Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me" is the first song of Lori Laitman's song cycle Early Snow, which sets three poems by Mary Oliver.
"I composed Early Snow between November 2002 and March 2003. The cycle was commissioned by Dr. Adelaide Whitaker for soprano Jennifer Check. Its base is the poetry of Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver (1935-), whose three poems are reflections about nature. My goal in all settings is the primacy of the text. This means that meters shift constantly to follow the natural rhythms of the poem, melodies are structured to emphasize the most important words in a phrase, tempos are flexible and harmonies change to color the emotional content. In this way, every word in every poem is bound inextricably to the music.
"'Last Night The Rain Spoke to Me' starts with a flowing melody and accompaniment. The piece comes to a pause in the middle, as the rhythm slows and the pedal sounds lift ('the sky cleared.'). Grace notes in the piano under the words 'stars in the sky' create a twinkling effect. The slightly irregular repetitive accompaniment that follows suggests 'soft rain.'"
The composer's note and the audio clip (provided in the media player to the right) are made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. In this audio clip, the performers are Anne Jennifer Nash, soprano, and Matthew Brower, piano, and the performance took place at Pepperdine University at SongFest 2010. To listen, please click on the track name itself.
[The text of this song is not available.]